With deal to buy 7 Recipharm plants, private equity firm Blue Wolf plans new CDMO

Another sign that the post-pandemic reshaping of the CDMO industry isn't over came Tuesday as one of the sector’s most powerful companies, Recipharm, sold off seven of its manufacturing and development facilities in Europe to Blue Wolf Capital.

The U.S. private equity firm has purchased plants in Parets, Spain; Pessac, France; and five in Recipharm’s home country of Sweden. The Swedish sites are in Hoganas, Karlskoga, Solna, Strangnas and Uppsala.

It is another divestment in the remake of Recipharm. Also on Tuesday, the Stockholm-based company completed the spinout of its inhaler business, which includes three plants.

Recipharm has said it wants to expand its biologics production capacity and position itself to take advantage of the increasing demand for cell and gene therapies.

In the deal with Blue Wolf, each of the seven facilities has been run by Recipharm for at least a decade. The plants are focused on the development of oral solid, semi-solid and liquid dosage products and serve more than 120 customers worldwide, Recipharm said.

Blue Wolf will form a new CDMO company with the sites and reveal its name after the deal closes. Peter Kruger, Recipharm’s oral solid dose strategy chief for the last two-plus years, will lead the new unit.

The companies expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year. They didn't reveal financial terms of the agreement.

Recipharm opened the year with 25 facilities in 10 countries. It has two biologic manufacturing sites in Massachusetts, which are its lone locations in the U.S. It also has four standalone facilities for development and manufacturing in Bengaluru, India, and a development lab in Israel. The rest of its sites are in Europe, with four each in Italy and Germany.

Recipharm’s push to transform was apparent in 2022 when it sold an active pharmaceutical ingredients plant in England to Pharmaron of China and a capsule and tablet production facility in France to Astrea. Meanwhile, Recipharm also pulled off acquisitions of Vibalogics of Germany, GenIbet of Portugal and Arranta Bio of Watertown, Massachusetts.

During the pandemic, Recipharm made a big score partnering with Moderna to produce its COVID-19 vaccines. In 2022, Recipharm's revenue skyrocketed by 30% to a company record 13,669 Swedish krona ($1.29 billion).